Answers: Mains Marathon – UPSC Mains Current Affairs Questions – December 20


Q.1) Recently, the Centre government has decided to set up special courts with the aim of disposing large number of cases against politicians. What are the significance of this move and possible challenges in the implementation? (GS-2)

SC is setting up a plan to exclusively try pending criminal cases against politicians and law makers by constituting special courts on the lines of Fast track courts.


  • This is an important development given the fact that we are faced with criminalization of politics at every level right from gross root level to parliament level.  Many politicians are facing criminal charges.
  • This is significant because country should strive for corruption free and elimination of criminalization of politics. If the cases are pending against law makers for a long time then it’s neither good for them nor the people of the country. If they are innocent then they should be adjudged not guilty and in case of convictions they should be punished.
  • As many as 1352 politicians are involved and at the same time our courts are overburdened. So if we go by the normal procedure it will take lot of time. SC, in 2014, has already passed an order and they have decided a limit of one year.
  • Recently, SC realized that unless the special courts are constituted for this purpose. By now they came up with this solution and this has a great significance.

The challenges in implementing special courts in India are as follows:

  • There is a lack of adequate Judges for deciding cases at Special courts.
  • As these courts are fast tracked, all necessary infrastructures are to be provided.
  • The amount of funds is quite insufficient that can be earmarked for setting up of Special Courts.
  • Corruption is also a major issue in judicial system as it is any other government department especially in lower courts increasing transparency and accountability corruption can be bought down.
  • These courts might be confusing for commoners for which delay in justice delivery may be gainful opportunities for many.

Q.2) “Though poverty declined but income inequality increased in the post-reform period”. Explain and also bring out the reasons of the same. (GS-1)


Decline in Poverty:

  • Poverty declined by 1.36 percentage points per annum after 1991, compared to that of 0.44 percentage points per annum prior to 1991.

Increase in income inequality:

  • Over the 1951-1980 period, the bottom 50% group captured 28% of total growth and incomes of this group grew faster than the average.
  • While on the other hand, the income of the top 0.1% decreased.
  • Over the 1980-2014 periods, the situation got reversed as the top 0.1% of earners captured a higher share of total growth (12%) than the bottom 50% (11%).
  • During the same period, the top 1% received a higher share of total growth (29%) than the middle 40% (23%).

What are the causes of rising income inequality in India post-reform period?

The major reasons are:

  • Increased GDP growth: Post reform period, increased GDP growth has come at the cost of ever-widening inequality.
  • India’s opening up of the economy and liberalization was much in favour of the top income earners and capital owners.
  • Top Tax rates reduced: Tax progressivity was reduced progressively reduced. Top tax rates, which were very high in the 1970s (up to 98%), decreased to 30% in the 1980s and after.
  • Increasing wage inequality: Post-reform, privatization removed government set pay-scales which were less unequal. As a result, the wage inequality dispersion increased in many sectors.
  • Lower growth rates for low income group: Growth at the bottom of the distribution was significantly lower than average growth rates since the 1980s.

What should be done?

  • Job creation in the modern sectors of the economy rather than redistribution through fiscal spending id needed.
  • Focus more on economic growth rather than populist policies
  • Strong labour rights in a country help young people secure a fair wage.
  • Government spending on infrastructure is important in rural areas
  • The government’s spending on quality of primary education remains a problem and needs improvement.
  • Government expenditure on health must be increased.
  • A social safety net for the informal sector workers like life insurance and pension policies is important.

Q.3) What needs to be done to achieve the aim of attaining self-reliance in design development and manufacturing in the defence sector? Discuss your answer with its possible drawbacks. (GS-3)


  • India’s defense sector is at a very crucial juncture in its expansion cycle
  • It is driven by modernization plants, increased focus on security and India’s growing attractiveness as a market for defense manufacturing.
  • In terms of manufacturing the market is dominated by defense public sector undertakings and ordnance factories which have not performed to the expectations so far.

Measures to be taken to achieve the aim of attaining self-reliance in design development and manufacturing in the defence sector:

  • The government has taken several steps over the years to fire up the defence manufacturing sector with an aim to become self-reliant. The main key to manufacture defence weapons is to have a design of own.
  • In this regard, IDDM (Indigenously Designed and Developed and Manufactured Equipment) encourages indigenous designing and production.
  • Several other steps such as relaxation in offset policy and FDI norms have also been taken to attract foreign players.
  • Strategic partnership policy has also been rolled out to create capacity in the private sector on a long-term basis.
  • The military must be made responsible for any and every defence related projects undertaken.
  • The government should make sure that private sector has a definite role to play in defence.
  • There must be allowance to export from private firms.

The hurdles in defence manufacturing in India:

  • The root cause of the failure of defence manufacturing in India is the systematic failure.
  • There is a lack of accountability or what can be called as structural deficiency.
  • The private sector is yet to be benefitted from the reforms of Make in India scheme for they aren’t given concrete orders to move ahead with the  scheme
  • There is no complete privatisation of defence PSUs.
  • The designing capability in defence sector is only limited to small and medium projects handled locally.
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